Natalie Jablonski

Community Features Editor

Natalie came to the station in 2013.  She moved to the Northwoods from Providence, Rhode Island where she worked at Rhode Island Public Radio.  She studied Environmental Studies at Brown University, and learned radio production at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. 

As Community Features Editor, Natalie spends time reporting, interviewing, and working with volunteer contributors.  She also hosts All Things Considered on Friday afternoons. 

When she's not rushing to and from an interview, she enjoys cooking, eating, playing music, and skiing to survive the winter.


1:41 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Suspects Identified In Stolen Credit Card Incident

One of the two suspects apprehended in connection with use of a stolen credit card was scheduled to appear in Oneida County court Monday.  Breianna Persike was arrested on December 18th, and another suspect Andrew Washburn was arrested the following day.

The Oneida County Sheriff’s office says the two are believed to have entered an unlocked home in the middle of the night, and stolen a purse containing cash and a credit card. 

Wausau Police helped make the arrests. 

In Time For Holiday Visitors
11:47 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Conditions Improve: Oneida County Snowmobile Trails Open Tuesday

Snowmobile riders will have more options to choose from after Oneida County trails open Tuesday.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

After a few inches of fresh snowfall, Oneida County is opening snowmobile trails Tuesday at 5 pm. 

Oneida County Snowmobile Council President Steve Moran says there are some rough spots on the trails. 

“Well, we could use more snow.  Hopefully we’re gonna get the snow they’re predicting.  Mostly they’re white, there’s gonna be some wet spots, that’s the biggest concern we have.  Swamps are not frozen with all the warm weather we’ve had, and the insulating snow we had earlier in November.” 

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Year-to-Date Sales Show Slight Increase
11:36 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Despite Poor November Sales, Northern Wisconsin Housing Market Keeps Pace

As we approach the end of the year, Northern Wisconsin’s housing market is looking good compared to 2013.

Sales in this part of the state are up about 1.6 percent so far this year. 

That’s the opposite of the statewide trend, which is lagging behind last year’s sales by about two percent. 

Economist Dave Clark says the numbers in northern Wisconsin show a small but solid improvement. 

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Arts & Life
9:39 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Opera Singer To Perform in Northwoods

Smith-Kotlarek as Count Robinson in Matrimonio Segreto
Credit Submitted photo

An opera singer is performing in the Northwoods Thursday.  

Christiaan Smith-Kotlarek has a sold-out holiday performance at the Essenhaus in Wabeno.  It’s part of a monthly program called Third Thursday Theater.  For this week’s arts feature, WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski spoke with him about his musical background.

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Gray Wolf Returns to Endangered Species List
5:43 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Federal Judge Blocks Future Wolf Hunts in WI, MN, MI

Wolves were removed from the federal endangered species list in 2012, prompting three years of wolf hunting in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Credit Brooks Tracy / USFWS

Wolves are once again considered an endangered species in Wisconsin.  

A federal judge Friday ruled in favor of the Humane Society, and called the 2012 delisting of wolves “arbitrary and capricious.” 

Wisconsin State Director Melissa Tedrowe says the Humane Society is happy that wolves are back under federal control. 

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Hitting the Roads and Taking to the Skies
4:23 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Cheaper Gas Means More Holiday Spending, Travel

Highways everywhere are likely to be busy this weekend.
Credit Ryan Stubbs /,_Looking_West_Towards_Highway_402.jpg

More people are traveling this holiday season thanks to falling gas prices. 

Cheaper winter blends of gas tend to cause a dip in prices every year.  But these are the lowest they’ve been in five years, with a statewide average of 2.46 a gallon.

According to Senior Petroleum Analyst Greg Laskoski, a survey finds low gas prices are impacting the plans of about a quarter of travelers. 

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Melting Snow and Bare Ground
4:30 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Snowmobile Trails Thin After Warm Weekend Temps

Snowmobile riders are being advised to wait until conditions improve.

This weekend’s thaw was bad news for winter recreation trails. 

Snowmobile trails in Iron County closed Monday after being open since early December.  Forest Administrator Joe Vairus says a significant amount of snow melted during the thaw. 


“It was 45 degrees for a few days, so things really opened up. It looked like spring.  The swamps are open and the trails are bare in a lot of places so we’ve got to get things frozen again and get snow coverage on top of that.  So it will take several inches, a foot or two.”

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First Round of Recommendations
4:30 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Council Recommends Increasing Oneida County Deer Herd

A citizen's advisory council feels there aren't enough deer in Oneida County.
Credit Michele Woodford / Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Oneida County’s Deer Advisory Council is asking for an increase in the deer herd for the next three years. 

The council met last week to finalize its first round of recommendations to the DNR.

As chair Ed Choinski explains, it will be a few months before the council sets specific recommendations for the number of antlerless permits. 

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Exceeding Federal Standards
11:49 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Expera Works With DNR To Curb Sulfur Dioxide Emissions

Expera Specialty Solutions has until April to make a plan for reducing sulfur dioxide emissions at its Rhinelander paper mill. 

The EPA has flagged the Rhinelander area as a nonattainment area for sulfur dioxide, because the Expera facility is emitting more than the federal standard of 75 parts per billion. 

DNR Air program director Bart Sponseller says the agency is working with Expera to evaluate solutions. 

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Business & Industry
11:45 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Restaurant Survey Finds Desire to Improve Rhinelander Dining Scene


Rhinelander restaurants may need better lighting and fresher food.  Those are some of the suggestions coming out of a restaurant survey done by UW Extension and Downtown Rhinelander Inc.

Oneida County Community Resource and Development Agent Tim Brown says researchers conducted focus groups with both older and younger adults…to see how age might dictate restaurant preferences. 

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